With the Olympics in full swing in Rio de Janeiro, it’s hard not to be impressed by the sheer dedication and tenacity emanating from every Olympian. Whilst piano playing is much more subjective, a similar pursuit of excellence and perfection must be sought by the concert pianist too, whether they be young or old.
As you’ve probably gleaned from the TV coverage, Brazil is teeming with breathtaking scenery, exotic plants and wildlife, and colourful, unique, original music (samba, bossa nova etc.). It also possess a rich classical music culture, with many fine musicians hailing from this huge country. Cristina Ortiz was born in Bahia, and studied in France with Magda Tagliaferro before winning the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1969.
I couldn’t resist highlighting this very interesting master class given by Cristina at the Musical Odyssey Summer Master Classes in Greece in 2014; here she is working with British pianist Thomas Harris. The workshop focuses on Beethoven’s monumental Sonata in E major op.109 (last movement). I hope you enjoy it.
I interviewed Cristina at her home in London in 2014, where she spoke about her childhood spent in Brazil and her love for Brazilian music. To watch, simply click the link below:
For much more information about how to practice piano repertoire, take a look at my two-book piano course, Play it again: PIANO (Schott). Covering a huge array of styles and genres, 49 progressive pieces from approximately Grade 1 – 8 level are featured, with at least two pages of practice tips for every piece. A convenient and beneficial course for students of any age, with or without a teacher, and it can also be used alongside piano examination syllabuses too.
You can find out more about my other piano publications and compositions here.